Archive for the ‘writing group’ Category

The Great Things: 

My book got published – Yay! And did really well (what?) Sunday Times best seller, #1 in the Kindle charts – I have been encouraging nearly everyone I know to start writing a book. Having found out the secret to getting published and making all your publishing dreams come true is actually working really hard at it for years and years (who knew?) Seriously though, if you think you want to write a book – write the damn book!

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My second book got published! and also is doing well #1 Kindle – it has a super awesome cover. I’m hoping for a less food based cover for book number three as I just want cake whenever I look at the cover for ‘The Secret’ (funny the apple on the cover of the Teacher did not have this affect on me!)

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SO MUCH great TV – Between  Netflix exclusive ‘Stranger Things’, HBO’s ‘The Night Of’ and ‘Westworld’ – which are probably my three top favourites of the year – If you haven’t seen them – do!  Even the DC (CW) offerings of Arrow, Supergirl,  The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow have been good, (although not perfect through my hypercritical eye). As excited as i was for Luke Cage (Marvel) it just didn’t deliver for me for a multitude of reasons, most of all being that it should have been a great deal shorter because it was long and tedious. Some great performances but ultimately very disappointing.

The Night of was just phenomenal though, so so good. I don’t want to say too much about it for fear of spoilers – but John Turturro and Riz Ahmed both give fantastic performances.

I met so many great people, I got invited to go and see Michael Buble play at the Camden roundhouse as a treat from iBooks (he was SO good) – where I also met the lovely Lisa Hall and Louise Jensen. I must admit to avoiding most social gatherings as I hate ‘the outside’ (said in a similar tone to ‘the upside down’ for those of you that have seen Stranger things).

 

I run a tiny writing group locally and that’s pretty much my entire social life. I shall be doing a new one this year as well locally. Anything that gets me out of the house is a bonus, I must keep battling my inner agoraphobic.

I have booked Crimefest & Harrogate – and will be going to Bloody Scotland as well this year so I really need to get over myself!

The not so Great things:

Lets not forget the sleepwalking. Turns out that in the run up to publication I get really stressed and experience some bizarre side effects like doing weird shit in my sleep.  before The Teacher was released I took my new Karin Slaughter paperback book and ripped the first few pages home out and chucked it across the room in my sleep. I woke up in the morning slightly confused but vaguely remembering doing it. (it was a great book by the way – Pretty Girls). The weekend before The Secret was released I moved house. I had previously had some cream velvet curtains made up and they were folded nicely in a bag and in a crate, under another crate. In the morning all my covers were on the floor and I was wrapped in my brand new 7 foot long velvet curtains. Very strange.

I was invited out for drinks in London – to the Groucho club – so I planned on going into London for a few hours before to do some research. I got dressed up in the morning and did my hair, put my best make up on and going out clothes but my friend asked me to stop with her at the surgery and she would drop me off at the train station. I went with her to to docs and then as we were walking back to her car a young policeman kept staring at me, he was on a bike and kept circling back. I imagined I must either look pretty amazing or he knew I who I was (its happened, its a small town) ‘Can I help you?’ I asked  – ‘Whats your name?’ he asked me – ‘Katerina Diamond’ I responded ‘Why?’ – ‘Because you match the description of a lady who has escaped from a secure facility and is a danger to herself and others.’ –  Yeah. That really happened.

 

Whats next? 

Be more organised, be better at admin generally (so so bad at that) Drink more (no really) Read more! I have read 2 books this week and it feels amazing – but its not something I usually give myself time for. Write more – and be more organised about that as well. Work hard and play harder! Blog more!

The simple fact of the matter is that there is no good time to write, because you can have a free day but not a single thought worth thinking, or you can have a busy day and the ideas are coming at you thick and fast. The truth is, you write when you can and even when you cant, even when you don’t want to, you write. If you indulge that side of you that says I cant think of anything to say then you may not think of anything to say for days, weeks, months.

My best ideas usually come when I have absolutely no way of getting them onto paper, or I have just enough time to write key words – which i look at with confusion later on as it turns out I cant remember what the hell the key words refer to.

I indulged my writers block for too long, and it festered until I had to re-familiarized myself with my work all over again. Sometimes of course you need the break, you need to experience things that might trigger things for you later on, when it comes to writing, sometimes you need to let the ideas manifest and mature in your mind. So write something else, write a part of your story that will never make it to an audience, write a side story, write a scene that you think might be cute or exciting, but not necessarily move the plot forwards. It keeps you in the zone.

My goal for this month is to write 2000 words each week day – some days i might write more, but 2000 is my absolute minimum for my novel, because I have been too indulgent with myself. I have had so many ideas and now I have the flesh of the plot in my grasp, but not if i don’t start to write it down,

So my advice to you is to just write, keep it fresh- even if its crap dont worry – you can edit it in the rewrite, if you can see its not supposed to be in the story you can cut it, If you haven’t written anything you cant edit it and you cant cut it. Keep going keep going keep going – one of the worst things I used to do as a writer was to constantly go over and edit things that I had already written. If its a plot issue then put a note on it to change it later, If its bad writing dont worry too much. Just keep moving forwards and rack your word count up until you reach your target. once you have finished the book you can go back over it all and fix it, but if you don’t get to the end there’s no point in fixing the beginning.

Until next time

Well i finally did it, I shall be heading up a writing group come next month. The venue is close to my house and the landlady was lovely – She has a private room upstairs in her pub which we can use the first Wednesday of every month.

I almost started a writing group for aspiring screenwriters a few years ago but then i got too busy to continue with it, this time I am going to make time to do it.

2 years ago, a friend of mine who knows I like to write asked me to go along to a women’s writers group. We turned up to an already established writers group and there were several female members there. First of all let me say I’m not very good at reading stuff out loud, I am very self conscious and so joining the group where I had to read out things that I had written really made a massive difference to my confidence when writing. I realised that things I thought were too extreme to put on paper were actually not that extreme at all.

A few weeks later the lady who owned the venue asked us to take part in a competition to write a novella of 30,000 words. My friend and i took part in the challenge – i found a newspaper article and developed it from that (because there is nothing more interesting than the weird crap people do in real life) Lucky for me we moved house and were without internet for a month which gave me the time to write without being hugely distracted. So I started writing the story, which I really got into. The competition ended up not really happening in the end for one reason or another.

Then the Ramsgate’s got writing talent competition came up – a few months after – at this point I had taken my original 30k words a little further and in a new direction. I hadn’t entered the year before but the year before that I came second, so i entered it again this time (in 2013) and WON! the job was to write a captivating first paragraph – which I apparently managed to do. My prize was to have my work seen by an agent as well as some feedback as I wrote (assuming i could complete a novel) – So that was my path – I had to finish it, I finished the first (50th) draft a year later.

Without the help or encouragement of the ladies in the writing group then I would never have been able to finish my novel, it was great to not feel foolish in pursuing a career in writing. These poor women didn’t really have the same taste as me and i did subject them to some rather horrific stuff ha ha – but they were invaluable in terms of helping me to have the confidence to put myself forward. the group has disbanded now and so I feel I would like to help someone else realise their novel writing dream.

Until next time